In a mature development area such as the North Sea the addition of new small scale subsea developments can have a significant economic impact. Such fields are frequently developed using the infrastructure and services of an existing development. The paper considers a critical aspect of this pattern of developments: the need to include and maintain access for moored vessels within the development area with regard to the increased number of seabed flowlines.

The situations where access with a moored vessel are considered: at the new development; along the flowline route and at the platform facility. The problems of access are then addressed analytically and solutions presented for ‘design for clearance’ and ‘design for contact’ conditions. The technologies which could be used for these conditions are then discussed with regard to technical limitations and economic considerations.

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